View Full Version : The MadHatter’s Tea Party, or, Some Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

The Backward OX
February 11th, 2012, 11:26 AM
"Twinkle, twinkle, little bat
How I wonder what you're at"
~ Lewis Carroll

The original of this post, of which this is a reasonable representation, and which unfortunately many of you will never see, would have been utterly hilarious, if it weren’t so sad a marker of what passes for reality in an online forum.

Put another way, this truly is how some forum-ites pass their time.

Put a third way, it has to be fiction. This couldn’t happen in real life.

Scene: At the Forum
Dramatis Personae: IX commotus lunaticae

Münchhausius: Friends, lend me your ears. Olibus has advocated a further squadron, to encompass those centurions who will not shut up. So, I need to know: what form should it take? How will we call them? How would members be selected?

Gumbonra: That’s a good idea. Maybe they can all be given keys to the city. I’ll be in Bologna most of the day, but I’ll mull this over as I journey. Magnificorum, Olibus.

Bazzodium: Give ‘em carrots.

Bunteropibus: Great idea. Something along the lines of an honorary title. Perhaps something like 'patron'.

Riyadhra: All this sand has got into my head. I need time to think.

Hawkitonia: All I want is to pick their brains and then have a cookie. My two cents.

Riyadhra: Now I’m confused.

Münchhausius: The idea is to put a stamp on their wrists and build them a shed out the back. Olibus might have some ideas there.

Olibus: Partly my reasoning was that the squadron will develop a 'flavour', and in a way it would say 'these are the sort of members we appreciate'.

(Narrator): There’s nothing like some old-fashioned eccentricity to muddy the Tiber.

Olibus: Therein also lies the danger of creating a clique atmosphere where now we are pretty inclusive.

(Narrator): That’s a real worry.

Cranopticum (Also known as Bringer Up of the Big Guns or Big Guns for short):I might be mistaken but didn't such members as made consistent valued contributions become mentors and/or moderators?

Unless we are talking about financial contributions, which the term patron suggests, would there be a problem if those other members who make consistent valued contributions in the form of forum activity are granted mentor status?

Otherwise it seems to me that we are considering another layer - perceived or otherwise - of membership; one which suggests the status of a mentor (wise helper) but with a different name.

Vulpes Vulperona: Contributor

(Narrator): d’uh

Vulpes Vulperona: With critiques always so sorely needed, I think that people who make a habit of giving in-depth helpful crits on a regular basis would be good candidates for this. If that's the only criterion then the badge could fit it, "Critique Machine" or something.

Münchhausius: This is simply a way to honour those who maintain a positive input on the site.

(Narrator): And I’m sure they’ll all feel highly honoured. What a crock of unprintable word.

Olibus: I had not considered titles, perhaps something like 'Senior member', which contained member in the title, would distinguish them from friends and staff. Perhaps it is not even a good idea…

(Narrator): You’re the one who opened this can of worms.

Olibus: …but I can think of two or three people who deserve some recognition…

(Narrator): You’re as bad as Münchhausius.

Olibus: …but would not want to become staff, and given the site is bound to develop a character it seemed sensible to direct it a little.

Big Guns: Ahh; I never thought about mentors as staff -only in their dynamic (visible) roles and interactions with other members.

OK - that brings us back to the whole valued/senior*/distinguished member concept, where the trick is to be able to distinguish between quantity or longevity and quality of membership activity. Post count-based titles here are quite distinctive as they are based on writer-terminology, so terms like valued, senior* or distinguished don't turn up as an automatic change. I would still recommend saving Patron (or similar) for major financial contributors/supporters of the forum, as the term is quite recognisable in the Arts world.

*the age-related connotation of senior has something of a negative effect on some members; it's been mentioned inanother setting (forum).

Honourable member looks political; Noble member - too aristocratic? Respected member? Appreciated member? Recognised member? Consummate member? (Role) Model member?

Münchhausius: To have survived all the ups and downs of the forum, perhaps "Vintage" might be appropriate.

Gumbonra: I know that the sports world has an MVP title for most valued player, maybe ours could be MVC, most valued contributor, or VC, vintage contributor.

Vulpes Vulperona: Heh. I really like Vintage.

Hawkitonia: Ditto Vulpes Vulperona.

Münchhausius: It seems we have two esteemed votes for "Vintage" - anyone else?

Riyadhra: Vintage sounds okay.

Olibus: I see what you mean about the age connotations of senior, I am surprised vintage doesn't carry the same feeling, but as three of the ladies support it I guess it can't. On consideration I might have gone for esteemed member as a more accurate description, but could be laying myself open to comment from the bovine one.

Narrator: Why that worthy would lower himself to participating in this scrimmage is beyond comprehension.

Bilstonium: Olibus makes a good point about being careful not to create cliques. I like the idea of experienced, intelligent, and articulate members contributing ideas to the way in which the site can move forward, become better.

Vintage sounds ok. I noticed Big Guns' comment on the title Honourable, and its political connotations, but how about a title including "Honorary", suggesting the title bestowed upon them as a token of appreciation for what they have put into the site.

Just my penceworth.

Olibus: Maybe 'friends' and 'honorary friends' to distinguish those who have paid for the privilege from those who have earned it.

Big Guns: If the recognition earned is about the quality of participation rather than the duration of membership, vintage does not really illustrate that - quite the opposite. Some who are being, or may be in the future, considered for this may not have been through all of the ups and downs.

Honorary Friend is good in that it does seem to fit the criteria and illustrate the type of status. Point to Olibus.

Münchhausius: Too late, Big Guns. The group has been set up.

(Narrator): I don’t believe a word of this. Someone pinch me, please.

candid petunia
February 11th, 2012, 02:44 PM
Hahaha! Gosh, you're absolutely crazy.


February 11th, 2012, 06:28 PM
I guess you have to have been around forms long enough to fully appreciate this.